Tomorrow (25 April) is the biggest day of patriotism and remembrance for New Zealanders and Australians. Some will go to the Cenotaph service in Central, others will take time to remember and be grateful. It will be ANZAC Day, 103 years since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps fought their first major military action. It was a disaster on the seashore at Gallipoli, Turkey, as the soldiers of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk mowed the Anzacs on the beaches down.
“You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.” Did Ataturk ever speak these words? Historians debate, but Prime Ministers in New Zealand and Australia have echoed them over the decades as ANZAC Day has become their countries’ celebration of nationhood. Before Gallipoli New Zealanders and Australians had felt they were colonials and Great Britain was home. Afterwards, they stood up.
The main commemoration in Hong Kong will be at the Cenotaph, Chater Road, Central at 6.15am tomorrow. The occasion will mark the service and sacrifice of the original Anzacs and all those from the two countries who have defended their values in wars and peace operations over the decades since Gallipoli.
“Gunfire Breakfast” will be served at Grappa’s Cellar, L/G, Jardine House after the Cenotaph service.